Person holding virtual graduation cap meant to represent Artificial Intelligence in Higher EducationA survey completed by Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty members this semester revealed that while 78% of faculty members are unfamiliar with the use of generative artificial intelligence, 42% of respondents demonstrated a belief that these tools, when leveraged ethically and appropriately, could have significant timesaving and efficiency-increasing benefits.

The responses communicate the  faculty perception, use and nonuse of generative AI for educational purposes. As for disadvantages, ambivalence and uncertainty were the leading disadvantages (highlighted by 25% of respondents) to using generative AI for educational purposes. 

This survey is part of Project 1 investigation, which aims to learn how advancements in AI are being leveraged for educational purposes at MSU Denver to discover and share successful uses across campus as well as to uncover areas where additional resources and support are needed. A Project 1 survey was also sent to students, and those results will be shared in the Early Bird in coming weeks. 

Dr. Sam Jay, Associate Professor of Communication Studies; Director of Faculty Affairs; Acting Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs

“There are pockets of generative-AI-powered innovation happening around campus,” Jay said, “but sharing information about what is working and/or discussing possible solutions to problems that could benefit from generative AI, machine learning or automation is not something we have organized just yet, at least not at scale. 

“Our research begins from a place of genuine interest in learning about what our colleagues and our students are doing to harness AI advancements that could benefit MSU Denver as a whole. We want to learn from others and share what we are learning in the hope that our campus community will see these resources as value-adds for enhancing how they fulfill their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.” 

Phase I faculty survey highlights:

Why MSU Denver faculty members are using or not using generative AI 

  • 61.5% of respondents answered that they have not used any generative-AI tools for educational purposes, while 38.5% of respondents answered that they have used generative-AI tools for educational purposes.  
    • Note: The faculty members most likely to have used generative AI for educational purposes are faculty members with 10 or more years of teaching experience or faculty members with three or fewer years of teaching experience. 
  • 38% of respondents answered that fear and lack of understanding, cost of and access to resources and/or technical and ethical challenges were standing in the way of their usage of generative AI for educational purposes.  
  • 24% of respondents avoided using these tools because of concerns about academic integrity and misuse, while 16% refrained due to concerns about reliability and veracity.  
  • In total, 78% of respondents admitted that unfamiliarity with generative AI was the driving factor behind their nonuse.

Concerns impacting MSU Denver faculty use/nonuse of generative AI 

  • 29% of respondents answered that they were concerned about generative AI’s impact on academic integrity, increased plagiarism and/or decreased critical thinking.  
  • 20% of respondents shared that they were concerned about the ethical implications, misuse/overreliance and/or loss of originality related to generative AI usage. 
  • 8% of respondents reported that cheating was the main concern they had with using generative AI for educational purposes. 

Faculty members are using generative AI in the classroom creatively 

  • 32% of respondents said they were using generative AI as a pedagogical tool or for enhancing creativity and research skills. 
  • 26% of respondents answered that they were using generative AI as an educational aid, for assignment assistance or as a research and analysis tool. 
  • 18% of respondents shared that they were using generative AI for educational-content creation, assessment-process development and/or classroom engagement and enhancement. 

Research details 

The Instructional Review Board-approved survey was developed by Smita Singh, Ph.D., assistant professor; Ranjidha Rajan, Ed.D., professor; Steve Geinitz, Ph.D., assistant professor; and Samuel M. Jay, Ph.D., director of Faculty Affairs. Its aim was to understand faculty perception, use and nonuse of generative AI for educational purposes. 

Phase II 

The second phase (Project 2) of data collection is underway and focuses on how generative AI is being integrated into classroom assignments.  

This portion of the research project is a longitudinal study aimed at uncovering how students’ perceptions of generative AI in the classroom change over time and is led by Rajan and Geinitz, as well as Kate Schmidt, Ph.D., and Kwabena Peprah, DBA.